micro:bit & making & girls

At the ISTE24 conference in Denver I will speak at the TeachMeet about the micro:bit, making and girls.

Teaching Coding

I’m teaching coding to students for almost 20 years. In the beginning I was always focused at coding is important and then smart boys asked interesting questions (can I make this, or is that possible to). And it was fun to help them. But the reason I quite my ICT job was to get more girls involved into being creative with coding and I noticed that the girls where bored and not involved in those lessons.

Making

When I read the book from Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager (Invent to Learn) that opened my eyes. It is not about the coding, it is about making. Then I changed my lessons. Only a small amount of coding, and then making and crafting. So the first hour it is (unplugged) coding and making easy projects with the micro:bit and we all connect a LED light to the micro:bit and the girls in the class they are usually the first where the light is working. Then the boys think, that is strange and then they look at the code and how to connect the micro:bit. They can adapt the code.

When the code is finished we close the laptops and we start making something with the LED lights. I take a lot of crafting material. And before the lessons ends they all look at each other’s projects. We celebrate what they have made. They will remember it, because they made  something. If I get difficult questions from I always say: “yes that is possible, but we will not do that today! “.

Fun

I now know now that that is the way to get girls involved into making and coding.

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